Some principles of biblical entrepreneurship every Christian business owner should know
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to conform to worldly business practices, but as a Christian, it’s important that you follow biblical entrepreneurship principles so you can continue to stand firm in your faith. (Romans 12:2)
When you start a business, your goal and expectation is to make your business profitable, get lots of customers and be happy. However, things don’t always go according to plan. When that happens, you start feeling some pressure and maybe some anxiety.
At this point, you may start considering some business practices that aren’t biblical because you need to drum up some business. In some cases, you may start receiving advice from some well-meaning people (including Christians), to change some of your business practices or to be a little bit more flexible on your values, if you want to succeed in business.
How do you weather the storm and stand firm at a time like this?
The answer is, build your business on a solid foundation. And, that foundation is the word of God.
When you build your life and business on biblical principles, you won’t be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine (in this case business practices), instead you’ll remember God’s promises and choose to do the right thing (obey God’s word).
Okay, this is by no means an easy thing to do, but God’s grace is sufficient and his strength is made perfect in your weakness.
You need the help of the Holy Spirit to stand firm when you face difficult situations in your business, so don’t try to do this alone or think your willpower is sufficient.
In this post, I am going to share some principles of biblical entrepreneurship to help you build your business on solid ground. Before we dive into that, let’s look at what biblical entrepreneurship is.
WHAT IS BIBLICAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
Biblical entrepreneurship is basically doing business God’s way and knowing what the bible says about entrepreneurship. It’s using godly principles to make business decisions and understanding that your business isn’t separate from your faith.
Christian entrepreneurship is applying godly principles to everything that concerns your business including: how you serve your customers, how you treat your employees, how you market your business, how you treat your suppliers and the kind of business ventures you enter into.
If this appears clear enough, it’s because it is!
Biblical entrepreneurship is doing business god’s way! Following God’s commandments and instructions for you as a believer, and using them in your business.
You don’t have to jump through hoops or do anything different from what you should already be doing as a Christian.
Now, let’s look at some ways biblical entrepreneurship is different.
3 WAYS BIBLICAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS DIFFERENT
1. A biblical business seeks to honor and glorify God. That’s the first and most important objective for a Christian entrepreneur. One of the principles of biblical entrepreneurship is to put God first in your business and follow your convictions no matter what other people think.
2. A Christian entrepreneur sees business as a means to further the gospel and the kingdom of God. She uses her business as a platform to bear witness to the truth of God’s word and to be a light to everyone she comes across.
3. A Christian business owner is not greedy for gain. The Bible says that a laborer is worthy of his wages so there’s nothing wrong with making money in your business. However, the Christian entrepreneur doesn’t focus on getting rich through shady or unethical practices.
You don’t toil ceaslessly because you are desperate to get rich. Also, a godly business doesn’t exploit it’s customers, employees or business partners to make more money.
There are more ways biblical entrepreneurship is different, but these are three of the most important ways and also what separates Christian business owners from non-Christians.
Now let’s look at some principles of biblical entrepreneurship every Christian business owner should know.
Related: 5 Habits of a Christian Entrepreneur
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PRINCIPLES OF BIBLICAL OWNERSHIP SO YOU CAN RUN YOUR BUSINESS GOD’S WAY
1. GOD OWNS IT ALL
As a business owner, it’s easy to think you are the boss and everything you own belongs to you.
In a sense, you’re correct, but for us Christians, we understand that we are merely stewards, and God owns it all. We are reminded of this principle in Psalm 50:10 “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.”
Everything you own belongs to God, just as you belong to him. So that’s the mindset with which you approach and run your business. When you accept that God owns it all, it becomes easy to be guided by biblical principles.
Knowing God owns it all, you’ll strive to do everything for his glory and shun business practices and ethics that are not pleasing to God.
This is one of the fundamental principles of biblical entrepreneurship, and you must keep it front and center of your mind if you want to be a faithful servant who honors his master.
2. DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WANT THEM TO DO TO YOU
This is known as The Golden Rule and this principle can be found in Matthew 7:12.
The premise of this Bible verse is to treat others the way you’d like to be treated. For example, don’t disrespect others if you don’t like being disrespected. Don’t cheat others or lie to them if you wouldn’t like the same thing to be done to you.
This is a very helpful principle that reminds us to be kind and to treat others fairly. It’s basically a reminder to do no harm.
So how does the Golden Rule work in business?
Some examples of how this principle works in business include:
- Providing a helpful and good quality product or service at a fair price
- Treating your customers or clients politely and kindly
- Addressing customer complaints in a fair, honest and timely manner
- Paying your employees or contractors a fair wage and treating them with respect
- Truth in advertising and marketing
- Paying your bills and credit notes (if you have them) when due
- Keeping your promises
- Using every opportunity and every interaction with others to honor God and further the gospel with your words and actions
As you can see, there are lots of ways to apply this principle to your business and personal life, so there’s really no excuse for not doing it.
3. TAKE ACTION AND WORK HARD
“So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17)
As a Christian entrepreneur, faith doesn’t take the place of setting goals, creating an action plan, then taking action.
To run a business successfully, you have to invest a lot of time and money. You’re not going to get the results you desire if you don’t put in the effort.
Sadly, I see a lot of Christian business owners who fail to follow this principle because they think that prayer, faith and confessions can breach the gap, but, remember you reap what you sow.
For example, if you spend all your time listening to one sermon after the other or reading the Bible, you’re going to become more knowledgeable about the word of God, but that wouldn’t do much for your business if you don’t do the work.
A lot of the principles of biblical entrepreneurship are simple and common sense principles, but many fail in the application.
So if you have been running away from taking action, it’s time to check yourself and commit to putting in the time that’s required to grow your business.
4. BE WARY OF DEBT
Lack of funding is one of the reasons so many aspiring entrepreneurs can’t realize their dreams.
Depending on the type of business you have (or want to start), you may need a large amount of money which you probably don’t have right now.
Borrowing money to fund a business is a common business practice, but as a Christian you want to tread carefully, because the borrower is the servant to the lender, and we are told to owe no man anything.
However, I recognize that many businesses couldn’t operate without some debt and the Bible doesn’t actually forbid borrowing. With that said, don’t go around borrowing money because you have access to loans.
Large debts can crumble your business even with a little change in your financial circumstances. Don’t overleverage your business when times are good because you don’t know the future. Too much debt will eat into your profits and can make it difficult to fulfil other financial obligations like payroll etc.
For a lot of businesses, debt leads to more debt, so if you must borrow to fund your business, only borrow what you need. Then, focus on growing your business with profits so you can repay all the money you borrowed.
5. PLAN AND STRATEGIZE
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28)
Let me show you the process many small business owners use to start and run their business.
First, they come up with a business idea, build a website, create or buy their products and voila! They are in business. If you’re wondering how I know this, it’s because this is the same process I followed many years ago and no wonder I failed spectacularly.
You can’t start or run a business without a plan. Also, you won’t get very far without a business strategy or strategies.
Like the Bible says in Luke 14:28, how do you start a business without first sitting down and figuring out the cost to run your business, how your business is going to make money and how you are going to get customers?
No, this doesn’t mean you should have every single detail mapped out, but you should have a general idea and a plan which you can tweak as you go along.
You should also have some basic strategies outlined: like your marketing and sales strategy and your financial strategy.
If you started your business without a plan, it’s not too late to create one. It’s never too late to start planning or strategizing.
So if you are feeling stuck or unsure what to do next, take some time to create a business plan and figure out some strategies to help you move ahead in your business.
If you want a simple easy to use weekly planner to help you stay on top of your business, check out the Weekly Planner for Christian Entrepreneurs below.
Final Word on Biblical Entrepreneurship
The Bible is replete with wisdom we can implement in our business, if only we took the time to study God’s word and apply them faithfully.
I have shared what biblical entrepreneurship is and some principles you can follow. What you do with this information is up to you, but hopefully, you’ll be challenged to build a solid foundation for your business and honor God in whatever you do.
Are you struggling with any of these principles of biblical entrepreneurship?